Is It Time to Designate Coast Guard Special Operations Forces
Master's thesis 1 Sep 2004-17 Jun 2005
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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This qualitative thesis examines the Coast Guards historic participation in special operations and a potential national requirement for designated Coast Guard special operations forces. Some observers have rejected the label, Global War on Terror, and embraced the notion of a global counterinsurgency characterized by a constant state of low-intensity conflict punctuated by short periods of mid- to high-intensity conflict. Peacetime and wartime are less useful terms. The Coast Guards domestic missions have made it useful for niche missions in conflict, but Goldwater-Nichols overlooked Title 14, U.S. Code. There is no reason today administratively to transfer the Coast Guard to the Navy Department because neither the Secretary nor the Chief of Naval Operations is a warfighting commander. Likewise, Congress overlooked the Coast Guard when it created U.S. Special Operations Command. Insurgent, terrorist, and criminal networks all have cellular, compartmented structures and undermine legitimate governments. The Coast Guard is a natural enemy with considerable experience fighting them at home and abroad. Moreover, post-11 September Maritime Security Response requires prolific, robust, all-weather, day-night, opposed boarding capabilities with highly discriminate use of force to respond immediately to real-time, all-source intelligence. Homeland Security presents the opportunity to acknowledge the historical record and correct the policies and resourcing necessary for Coast Guard special operations forces.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics